Teaching of Islamic studies as an important subject matter

History is based on concrete facts and without history, a nation at large can be rootless. History is the science of the past. Data are collected judiciously by the historians in order to make history impartial. Besides, being based on religion, Islamic history encompasses politics, social and economic aspects as well. History of Islam is based on faith, drive and ijtehad [to move forward]. The word deen involves religio- politico- and socio complex.

Islamic studies should not be taught in isolation. To make it more lively and interesting, comparative studies of other faiths and history is quite necessary. Reference should be made to other ideologies, such as capitalism, communism, fascism and socialism. Students must know that ideologies can exist and die but religion cannot vanish especially Islam which is a way of life, blended with faith and practices. The teaching of Islamic studies requires a dose of general knowledge of physical science, philosophy, politics, economy and sociology.

If proper environment, conducive to learning is not created the students might feel bore and will obviously show apathy for the subject. In this context motivation should be created so that the students will feel that studying this subject is not limited to religion only but it is also related to other modern subjects. Some elementary knowledge of other histories will surely increase the curiosity of the students.

To make the subject more interesting the history of other prophets from the Quran should be narrated. The students will have a glimpse of Islamic history as from grade 10 . For SC a little emphasis can be put on history and Islamic practices in general. The subject will become more inter active at lower and upper six. Learning materials and teaching strategies will be primordial for making the class more effective.

The intrinsic and extrinsic motivations will definitely arouse the students’ curiosity to go for further knowledge about the subject. Encourage the students to make additional reading as far as the intrinsic motivation is concerned. Extrinsic motivation is accompanied by a reward obtained from the research made in acquiring additional knowledge about the subject, concerning geographical features and locations through maps and internet. While applying the expository strategy make the student an active learner by putting as many questions as possible. Open and close questions like who, when, why, where and how should be applied. Full participation of the students is required.

At HSC level the students become more mature and the topic like tawheed and mysticism must be taught perspicaciously. Knowledge of General philosophy is necessary in order to make Islamic philosophy more interesting. Comparative studies of different schools of thought such as the Jabria, the Quadria, the Mutazilah and the Asharia should be taught in a comprehensive way so that mugging of notes can be avoided. Make the learners self regulatory and let them deduce answers by themselves by making use of their Meta cognition.

Muslim parents must encourage their wards to opt for this subject because lot of knowledge can be acquired regarding Islam and Islamic history. It is mandatory on all Muslim students to know about their past, together with a reasonable knowledge of Islam. Learners are exposed to a deep knowledge of the life of our Holy prophet [pbuh] and about his beloved companions. Islamic studies should not be an exam: oriented subject but a lifelong learning subject. Islam is a way of life and even after school days the learners will have to apply this knowledge in their daily lives.

Cassam Tupsy